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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Chloridoideae
Tribus: Cynodonteae
Subtribus: Triodiinae
Genus: Triodia
Species: (68)
T. acutispicula – T. aeria – T. angusta – T. aristiglumis – T. aurita – T. barbata – T. basedowii – T. biflora – T. bitextura – T. brizoides – T. bromoides – T. bunglensis – T. bunicola – T. burbidgeana – T. bynoei – T. caelestialis – T. claytonii – T. compacta – T. concinna – T. contorta – T. cremnophila – T. cunninghamii – T. danthonioides – T. desertorum – T. dielsii – T. epactia – T. fissura – T. fitzgeraldii – T. helmsii – T. hubbardii – T. inaequiloba – T. integra – T. intermedia – T. inutilis – T. irritans – T. lanata – T. lanigera – T. latzii – T. longiceps – T. longiloba – T. longipalea – T. marginata – T. melvillei – T. microstachya – T. mitchellii – T. molesta – T. pascoeana – T. plectrachnoides – T. plurinervata – T. procera – T. prona – T. pungens – T. racemigera – T. radonensis – T. rigidissima – T. roscida – T. salina – T. scariosa – T. schinzii – T. secunda – T. spicata – T. stenostachya – T. tomentosa – T. triaristata – T. triticoides – T. uniaristata – T. vella – T. wiseana

Triodia R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 182 (1810)
Type species: Triodia pungens R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 182 (1810)


Plectrachne Henrard, Vierteljahrsschr. Naturf. Ges. Zürich 74: 132 (1929).


Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae 182.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Triodia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 13. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, (Poaceae) Triodia (Poaceae). Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 13. 2013. Triodia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 13.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Triodia. Published online. Accessed: 13 Nov. 2013.

Vernacular names
English: Australian Spinifex

Triodia is a large genus of hummock-forming bunchgrass endemic to Australia. They are known by the common name spinifex, although they are not a part of the coastal genus Spinifex.[1] Many of the soft-leaved members of this species were formerly included in the genus Plectrachne.[3]

It is known as tjanpi in central Australia,[4][5] and is used for basket weaving by the women of various Aboriginal Australian peoples.[6]

A multiaccess key (SpiKey) is available as a free app for the Triodias of the Pilbara (28 species and one hybrid).[7]


Triodia is a perennial Australian tussock grass that grows in arid regions. Its leaves (30–40 centimetres long) are subulate (awl-shaped, with a tapering point). The leaf tips, that are high in silica, can break off in the skin, leading to infections.

Spinifex has traditionally had many uses for Aboriginal Australians. The seeds were collected and ground to make seedcakes. Spinifex resin was an important adhesive used in spear-making. Smoke signals were made to communicate with families and groups a long distance away, as burning spinifex produces a strong black smoke.

The species Triodia wiseana is used for building shelters; bunched together it is used for trapping fish against creek beds. It is called baru in the languages of the Yindjibarndi and Ngarluma people, the English term is hard spinifex.[8]
A controlled burn of Triodia (1989), CSIRO

Species currently include:[9][10]

Triodia acutispicula Lazarides
Triodia aeria Lazarides
Triodia angusta (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia aristiglumis (Lazarides) Lazarides
Triodia aurita Lazarides
Triodia barbata R.L.Barrett & M.D.Barrett
Triodia basedowii E.Pritz. – buck spinifex
Triodia biflora Lazarides
Triodia bitextura Lazarides
Triodia brizoides (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia bromoides (F.Muell.) Lazarides
Triodia bunglensis (S.W.L.Jacobs) Lazarides
Triodia bunicola (S.W.L.Jacobs) Lazarides – southern porcupine grass
Triodia burbidgeana S.W.L.Jacobs
Triodia bynoei (C.E.Hubb.) Lazarides
Triodia caelestialis G.Armstr.
Triodia claytonii Lazarides
Triodia compacta (Burbidge, N.T) S.W.L.Jacobs
Triodia concinna (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia contorta (Lazarides) Lazarides
Triodia cremmophila R.L.Barrett & M.D.Barrett
Triodia cunninghamii Benth.
Triodia danthonioides (F.Muell.) Lazarides
Triodia desertorum (C.E.Hubb.) Lazarides
Triodia dielsii (C.E.Hubb.) Lazarides
Triodia epactia S.W.L.Jacobs
Triodia fissura Barrett, Wells & Dixon
Triodia fitzgeraldii C.A.Gardner ex N.T.Burb.
Triodia helmsii (C.E.Hubb.) Lazarides
Triodia hubbardii (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia inaequiloba (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia integra Lazarides
Triodia intermedia Cheel – winged spinifex
Triodia inutilis (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia irritans (Brown, R) – porcupine grass
Triodia lanata J.M.Black
Triodia lanigera Domin
Triodia latzii Lazarides
Triodia longiceps J.M.Black
Triodia longiloba Lazarides
Triodia longipalea Lazarides
Triodia marginata (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia melvillei (C.E.Hubb.) Lazarides
Triodia microstachya (Brown, R)
Triodia mitchellii Benth. – buck spinifex
Triodia molesta (Burbidge, N.T) – porcupine grass
Triodia pascoeana B.K.Simon
Triodia plectrachnoides (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia plurinervata (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia procera (Brown, R)
Triodia prona Lazarides
Triodia pungens (Brown, R) – gummy spinifex
Triodia racemigera C.A.Gardner
Triodia radonensis S.W.L.Jacobs
Triodia rigidissima (Pilg.) Lazarides
Triodia roscida (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia salina Lazarides
Triodia scariosa (Burbidge, N.T) – porcupine grass
Triodia schinzii (Henrard) Lazarides
Triodia secunda (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia spicata (Burbidge, N.T)
Triodia stenostachya Domin
Triodia tomentosa S.W.L.Jacobs
Triodia triaristata Lazarides
Triodia triticoides C.A.Gardner
Triodia uniaristata (Lazarides) Lazarides
Triodia vella Lazarides
Triodia wiseana C.A.Gardner

Formerly included species

Numerous species once considered members of Triodia have been reclassified, they are in other genera, which include: Austrofestuca, Chascolytrum, Danthonia, Dasyochloa, Deschampsia, Diplachne, Disakisperma, Erioneuron, Gouinia, Graphephorum, Leptocarydion, Notochloe, Plinthanthesis, Poa, Puccinellia, Rytidosperma, Scolochloa, Spartina, Torreyochloa, Trichoneura, Tridens, Triplasis, Tripogon, and Vaseyochloa.[2]
See also

Spinifex pigeon
Carnegie expedition of 1896


M. Lazarides (1997). "A revision of Triodia including Plectrachne (Poaceae, Eragrostideae, Triodiinae)". Australian Systematic Botany. 10 (3): 381–489. doi:10.1071/SB96012.
"Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Retrieved 19 January 2019.
Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references. Version: 28 November 2005
"Special spinifex". Bush Heritage Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
"Fact Sheet: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park" (PDF). Parks Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
"Our Artists". Tjanpi Desert Weavers. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
M.D. Barrett, B.M. Anderson, K.R.Thiele (2017-06-05). "SPIKEY: An interactive key to Triodia spinifex grasses of the Pilbara, Western Australia Version". Welcome to Identic. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
Burndud (1990). Wanggalili; Yinjibarndi and Ngarluma Plants. Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation. p. 17.
"Triodia". The Plant List. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
Australia, Atlas of Living. "Triodia". Retrieved 19 January 2019.

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